What’s blooming today….

We’ve had a run of hot beautiful days. Things are a little dry, but everything’s starting to bloom.

Heuchera ‘Pewter Veil’
Rosa ‘New Dawn’
NoID white climbing rose
Lavender
Tanacetum parthenium (Feverfew)
Monarda
Hemerocallis ‘Cleo’
NoID daylily
Geranium “Rozanne’
Hypericum. Perforatum (St. John’s Wort)
Clematis chiionensis ‘Lemon Bells’
Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion)
Foxglove
Borage
Tradescantia

Garden Art

I’m not a huge fan of garden art, but I did see some that I loved on the Hardy Plant Study Weekend tours.

IMG_2981
I managed to snap up these Fiddlesticks before the crowds arrived. Here they are, happily ensconced in my lavender. 
IMG_1685
Loved this woman…simple, elegant.
IMG_1626
I’m betting there are lights inside these. 
IMG_1588
I loved these.  They were in several gardens. I’m looking for a source!
IMG_1544
Lovely!
IMG_1477
I love the detail on the border. 

 

Flourish…day 2 & 3

Onward…..

IMG_1571
New day…renewed energy…1st off was the garden of Anne Mace in Saanich.  Fiddlestick Pottery was on site and doing a good business. Good thing I got there early and scored a lovely trio of fiddlesticks!  Loved this garden. There were some lovely shade spots…including a bed of Polystichum setiferum to die for.

IMG_1579
Cornus kousa

IMG_1583
Beautiful shade spots…note the allium!!

IMG_1589
Now who knew that River Birch (Betula nigra ‘Heritage’)) would thrive here on the coast. This tree was a mainstay in my Ontario garden. I miss it terribly. Dare I try it here?  Now…yes!!

IMG_1591
Now, the garden of Graham Smyth, with a peek-a-boo view of Cadboro Bay. Cadboro Bay is MY Beach. I spent my teen-age years just blocks from here. Who knew that gardening and microclimates existed at that point? I did overhear several fellow delegates commenting on this garden….”Hardy??  Really??”  Yes folks…welcome to Victoria.  We may be in Canada…but the microclimates on the sland can be absolutely incredible.   Here is Restio tetraphyllus…an Australian native.

IMG_1596
more Podophyllum…very pale ‘Spotty Dotty”??
 Nope….Petasites palmatus….thanks Plants Ident!!
IMG_1599
Hebe

IMG_1600
Agave…clearly made it through the island’s 2017 winter-from-hell.

IMG_1603
Libertia peregrinans …. oh…need me some of these!!

IMG_1606
Mukdenia rossii

IMG_1608
Rhododendron…???

IMG_1609
Our native Holodiscus discolour, Ocean spray.

IMG_1611
MY Cadboro Bay!

IMG_1616
Unidentified…so glossy…so red…so gorgeous!!!

IMG_1618
Ok…this one was in a greenhouse!

IMG_2838
Dranunculus vulgaris. This was one of two of the tour.  PU!  What a smell!  But a lovely flower!  The next day we saw another one…but the smell was gone!  Hmmm….

IMG_1629
Sunday….this was a beautiful garden belonging to Richard Mosselman in James Bay (downtown Victoria). Photos can’t do this garden justice. It was tiny. And voluptuous!  Privacy was the main goal of the garden…but the depth and breadth and richness of the plantings was divine.

IMG_1630
Hebe

IMG_1638
Ok…this photo is my regret photo. I saw a lovely little Cornus alternifolia at Alba in the Market Place for $30. and debated…and debated…but eventually declined. Then…the next day…Cornus Alternifolias proceeded to haunt/taunt me. Arghhhh!!!!  Oops…where did that Cornus go??  This is actually a Styrax japonica in bloom. Lovely. Now the Cornus is getting all elusive on me ‘cuz I didn’t buy it!!!  Anyway…..moving on. 

IMG_1642
Araucaria araucana…monkey puzzle tree.  This is a HUGE tree eventually, but lovely tucked into a woodland garden.  For now!
 

IMG_1652
Now I know why I just bought a little piece of this. Hacquetia epipactis. 

IMG_1670
This particular bed is a little formal for me…but this garden belonging to Lily Maxwell was amazing. Given that the surrounding properties were built on pure rock…this fertile lush garden space was inspiring.

IMG_1676
Eryngium ‘Blue Jackpot’?

IMG_1681
The next day… a NOT smelly Dranunculus vulgaris. Past its smell prime!!

IMG_1685
Lovely garden

IMG_2849
What’s this orchid. We saw it a few times on the tour….???

IMG_2852
Beautiful Cedrus atlantica ‘Glauca Pendula’
 

IMG_2862
OMG…done!!  An amazing weekend.  Very, very tiring. Overstimulating. So happy to be home, sweet home!!!

Flourish, Hardy Plant Study Weekend, Victoria, B.C. June 23-26

I’m finally getting around to blogging about the stunning and overwhelming study weekend in Sidney/Victoria a few weeks ago. Held over 3 days (four if you stayed and did the public gardens in Victoria) with 7 speakers, 19 gardens and 6 plant vendors.  Where to begin?  The speakers were all excellent. A special shout out to James Alexander-Sinclair and Joe Swift who were informative, inspiring, witty, with that dry humour that only the British seem to be able to get away with. Their dual presentation on Saturday had us rolling in the aisles and reminded me of the BBC TV series Top Gear hosted by the similarity wonky, witty and dry Jeremy, James and Richard.  Very impressive was Rebecca Macklin’s session.  Rebecca directs biodiversity through the Brooklyn Bridge Park project.  Her talk was called “Post Hurricane Sandy: Lessons in Management and Vegetation Performance” which in hindsite may have done her a bit of a disservice. Her session was the least well attended.  I considered passing it up because I really wasn’t too terribly interested in the topic (although pretty important for us coastal folks!). Her standing ovation however was a testament to the brilliance of her talk and the knowledge and passion she brings to her job.  She was inspiring in her knowledge of pollination ecology, wildlife habitats, tree and plant biology and soil science. She’s a delightful science nerd!  One of my biggest takeaways was on the topic of turf. Yes, turf!!  (big yawn). I think originally in her career she agreed with that yawn, until she discovered that people actually come to public parks FOR the turf!  Playing, rolling, frisbee, sunning…the turf is what draws people. The plants and trees are a glorious bonus when they get there!!  The first half of her talk was a fascinating discussion of native plants, building gardens from scratch on industrial lands, successes and failures…the second half of her talk did touch on the lessons learned from Sandy.  Good to know for us coastal communities.

And then there were the gardens!!  It will be impossible to do any of the magnificent gardens we saw in those 3 days any kind of tribute or justice.  But I will try to post a few (!) pics of gardens, plants, views, etc. that caught my eye enough to click and/or piqued my interest for my garden’s future.  So, without any further ado….here goes some HIGHLIGHTS of the study weekend…for me. I will try to identify gardens as best I can. Apologies for any gardens or plants mislabeled.

IMG_1459
Viv Davis & Ian Tresidder’s suburban oasis in Saanich impressed me with its ferns…this is Walking Fern aka Asplenium rhizophyllum poking through immaculate Hostas.
IMG_1462
I saw this in a couple of gardens. A native apparently…Adiantum pedatum subsp. subpumiltum.  Gorgeous!
IMG_1469
The garden of Janice Currie, Saanich. A new garden (!) and clearly Janice is a plant geek/collector.  I was especially in thrall of her shade gardens.  I ran into her at Far Reaches Farm display and she convinced me to buy a Amicia zygomeris!!  More later.
IMG_1475
Quercus dentata pinnatifida aka Cut leaf Daimyo Oak
IMG_1476
Aralia ‘Sun King’ thriving golden in the shade.  Need to get me some of these!
IMG_1478
Syneilesis??  Or….a Helebore maybe….
IMG_1480
Schefflera….ditto
IMG_1481
Podophyllum ‘Spotty Dotty’. Got me one of these already. I managed to score a Podophyllum delavayi at the Market Place from Far Reaches Farm. ❤️
IMG_1484
Shout out to Fiddlestick Pottery whose fiddlesticks were showing up in many gardens and luckily selling their wares on site. I got me three of them!!
IMG_1486
I don’t know what this is, but I like it!  Aha!  Eucomis ‘Freckles’. Thanks Plant Ident!
IMG_1503
Lots of alpine troughs.
IMG_1509
Janice’s amazing crevice garden.
IMG_1513
Mary Payne’s lovely Saanichton suburban Asian inspired garden. Her green ‘carpets’ were serenely inspirational.
IMG_1517
Alliums and allium shadows in Bonita Elliot’s North Saanich garden.
IMG_1547
Succulent pots.
IMG_1556
Oh dear.  I may be confused as to which garden this is. So sorry!  I loved this Mediterranean courtyard.
IMG_1558
And a green roofed shed beside the courtyard.
IMG_1561
I seem to have a new found love of the architecture of alliums!
IMG_1563
Buddleia globosa – gorgeous dried blooms
IMG_1564
Buddleia globosa against sky.
IMG_1565
I loved this courtyard.
IMG_1569
More tree against sky shots
IMG_1570
Pretty!  Add rocks to a discarded nest. I got me one of these now!!

That’s about it for Day 1 and part of Day 2!  The rest of Day 2 and 3 needs their own post!!

 

Robins

Robins decided to build a nest in our pergola despite our constant presence. We all got along famously from May 22 when we first spotted Mama sitting in the nest to June 10 when we noticed a decided lack of activity at the nest. Empty!!

IMG_2595
May 22. We notice Mama Robin sitting on an old nest!
IMG_1316
May 26. Not terribly attractive are they?!
IMG_1337
May 29. Certainly getting cuter.
IMG_2716
We’re hungry!!
IMG_2718
Mama
IMG_2724
Papa
IMG_2729
Whoa…getting big….June 7
IMG_2736
June 8
IMG_1408
So quiet on the deck….they’re gone!!! June 10.